As with many industries, the world of financial services is in a good place. Currently, money is going in, and money is going out, and those who work in the industry are glad to be a part of it.
However, there comes a time in every industry when the professionals within it have to look to the future.
Not what will happen tomorrow but what will transpire 20 to 50 years from now. How will the industry change and will we be prepared to handle the twists and turns?
Last year, a group of researchers at the Equipment Leasing & Finance Association (ELFA) Operations and Technology Conference got together to think about what the future of the finance industry may look like many years down the road. It was not about predicting the future but instead thinking about a series of what-ifs. Here are a few of the scenarios they came up with:
What if the process of selling financial products to our customers was reduced from handling hundreds of documents to merely having a customer use their fingerprint to complete the paperwork and supply all of the necessary verifications? This process would be a form of biometric identification, and it would revolutionize the industry. If this became a reality, how would we modify and would we accept it?
What if the whole idea of a sales representative became obsolete? Currently, humans and computers work together to accurately process financial transactions, but in the future, it could be very possible that humans would no longer need to be part of the equation. Currently, salespeople suggest products you might need. In the future, computer coded algorithms could be able to do this guesswork and when the perfect product is agreed upon, selecting it could be done at a touch of a button. How would we adjust to this scenario?
What if, in the future, customers could have all of their products delivered to them without ever leaving their home? Just imagine it. A customer orders an item from their mobile device as they do now when requesting an Uber. From there, an airborne drone arrives to inspect and verify the proper product. Once the package is on the move, satellites and sensors are able to track the location of the product, and all the while, an individual agent at the leasing office is monitoring everything until it shows up at the customer’s doorstep. How would your business handle this change?
What if blockchain technology becomes the go-to technology that enhances bill presentation, manages the bill payment lifecycle, and provides instant customer service to your clients? Has your firm already considered the impact of blockchain technology?
While we never know what predictions might come true, playing the game of “what if” helps businesses and customers prepare for the future.